The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been known over the years to have raised the standards against the misuse of drugs by athletes by promoting, coordinating and monitoring the use of drugs in sports. On January 1, 2016, the WADA came up with a list of substances banned from use by athletes. Among this list of names was the substance, ‘Meldonium‘; a limited market pharmaceutical which is primarily circulated across the countries in Eastern Europe. There is however still a debate on the status of ‘Meldonium, as an energy bolstering substance in the performance of athletes as some have been known to be in use of it before it’s ban as well as the fact that it is not classified as a legal substance in the United States.
The Substance Nature
Meldonium is primarily distributed as an anti-ischemic drug that is used to treat coronary artery disease problems that may most times lead to ischemia. Ischemia is a condition where very little blood flows through the internal body organs, most especially, the heart. This drug is said to be able to expand the arteries thereby increasing blood flow and indirectly, the flow of oxygen.
The Confirmed Effects
Another treatment this substance is used for is the induction of anti-convulsing and anti-hypnotic effects of which benefits would involve the prevention of seizures and alcohol intoxication. This is supported by the fact that ‘Meldonium’ has been shown after some clinical trials to reduce blood glucose concentrations and boost the effects of cardio-prevention thereby reducing the rigor of diabetic complications. Long-Term treatment in this regard has been shown to improve the buildup of plaque in the heart. The use of this drug also includes the treatment of some cases of cerebral ischemia especially in the case of former alcoholics as it is said to decrease the intensity of withdrawal symptoms which is caused by the cease of alcohol consumption.
What Led To The Ban
The actual reason for the ban of ‘Meldonium’ by the world anti-doping agency would be because of the classification of the drug as a metabolic modulator. It can modify the acceleration of some hormones in the body as well as slow down the reaction of several body enzymes. The outlandishly high use of ‘Meldonium’ among athletes especially in European countries was a significant factor that led to the ban. In the 2015 Baku European Games, most athletes withheld the information about their use of ‘Meldonium’ from anti-doping officials by not declaring it on their anti-doping control forms like they were supposed to.
The Main Issue
The particular debate that has been and continues to be is the argument of whether ‘Meldonium’ actually increases the endurance performance in athletes, enhanced activation of the nervous systems as well as improved rehabilitation after exercise. A study carried out in December 2015 presented no evidence to support such a claim, but went ahead to state ways by which ‘Meldonium’ can be accurately recognized. Although not approved in the United States, ‘Meldonium’ is registered and usually administered in quite some European states.